Made in NYC Wearable Artist Lily Piyathaisere of Gamma Folk

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EcoSalon interviews Lily Piyathaisere, the brains (and hands, and heart) behind  the made in NYC jewelry line, Gamma Folk. 


Juliette Donatelli: What is at the heart of your jewelry line Gamma Folk?

Lily Piyathaisere: Gamma Folk is really about the merging of new materials. So the new collection incorporated ceramics, which is a white earthenware clay, and I like to incorporate that with natural fibers. Everything is naturally dyed using different plant based materials including indigo and log wood. What I love about log wood is that it has a range. You can add modifiers and different things to have a range of purples to grays.

The ceramics are all hand built. It is my first time incorporating ceramics. I love the fibers but I was always looking for weight. It is a comfortable necklace but you want it to hang, and I thought it was a good was to incorporate that.

JD: Is there a history to where the fibers are sourced? Or how they are dyed?

LP:  Well, I do everything myself. I do all the dying in small batches. There are variations that occur and that is what is part of what is beautiful about it. They are all cotton.

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JD: How does your customers respond to the specialty and craftsmanship behind each piece?

LP: I think that people who like my stuff, really like my stuff. Meaning they appreciate the handmade quality of it, and that there is variation. There are times I will work with people who are kind of like, “Oh that is too different.” You know, they make that point. And I always say, ‘Variations are natural.’ And that’s how you know it isn’t a good fit. The right people appreciate that. If they want something mass produced they’ve got to go elsewhere.

Part of textile arts in general is the labor part of it and embracing that part.

JD: You participated in the Market 605 pop-up shop in NYC, which brought together conscious designers throughout NYC into a single retail space. In your experience, what has the public response been to Market 605?

LP: The response from the public, whether they have found us online or through press, or even walk-throughs have been really nice. The locals around here get really excited to find something unique in this area because they have a lot of chain stores moving in, so the people that I have met get excited to see something new going on.

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images: photographer Christine Han for Gamma Folk

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Juliette Donatelli

Working in the field of sustainability for over seven years, Juliette is passionate about its intersection within the fashion industry. Juliette began studying ecological conservation, and led consumer awareness campaigns around the world from water usage in southern California, riparian restoration in South Africa, food distribution in Paris and bison habitat in the Great Plains. She has launched her passion--consumerism and sustainability--into a place where it hits home--fashion. Juliette is the founder and editor-in-chief of, Director of Sustainability at Manufacture NY, and loves to read, dance, swim and enjoy the occasional glass of champagne.